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alhoon

Shaping missing limbs - is it healing? Self-shaping?

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So, I was thinking. If a Shaper was losing his eyesight due to age, cataract etc. If he "Shaped the cataract away" is it considered self-shaping to give himself better vision? Or healing?
How about a Guardian that has lost an eye and shapes a new one in its place?
If a Shaper was growing senile (brain cells dying etc) and had his age "healed" from the rigors of old age, is it considered "Cheating"?

 

How about someone that has lost a limb and a Shaper shaping a new one in a vat and attaching it?

 

I think it would go by case and that it would be controversial personally. While healing cataract with Shaping would probably be OK, I think a few purists would consider it a bit far fetched as a means to stave off the effects of old age. I can recall in the series Shapers that didn't see very well or were starting to become senile.
Alwan was using Shaping to keep his failing body alive but Alwan was always skirting the line (working extensively with Geneforged \ Self-shaped individuals, using Spawners and other creations that can Shape etc).
Moseh, Elizah and Shaftoe were illegally Shaped and they knew they would face consequences for their transformations even if the Shapers were overlooking that at the time.

Edited by alhoon

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I think if someone were to self shape themselves to bypass training it would be looked at as a crime, but if someone were to self shape themselves as a mean to further the Shaper cause, it would be temporarily overlooked. Moseh, Elizah and Shaftoe and to control a massive amount of creations at a time and used machines and self altering methods to gain power and control; but it was for the good of the Shapers.

 

And if an ordinary person lost a limb, the Shapers probably wouldn't give a damn about attempting to help them, but if a Guardian lost a limb, they'd probably work on creating a prosthetic or an entirely new arm, just because how useful and powerful Guardians are. If you believe I'm wrong or if I got my facts mixed up feel free to correct me lol

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Shaper medicine seems to be fairly advanced, and in the area of healing physical wounds (that is, as opposed to fighting disease or body-systemic issues, like Alwan's), they seem to be capable of a lot more than in real life: I know it's maybe shaky to extrapolate from game mechanics to lore, but healing craft being considered a Shaper art, and healing spells drawing on essence, imply that Shapers are willing to use some minor shaping on themselves and others to, for example, close up a laceration, or set a broken bone and speed up its healing. Thus, I suspect that the number of cases of Shapers actually losing limbs would be vanishingly small.

 

However, if a Shaper actually did manage to lose a limb, I think it'd probably be pretty heavily tabooed to actually shape up a new arm or leg. Part of this is because of the demonstrated Shaper aversion to (visible) human body modification, but also because I do not think a Shaper could simply shape up an arm: Shapers are never shown as being capable of simply shaping body parts, only full living beings. When a Shaper experimenter wants a glaahk eye, they have to shape the whole glaahk, then kill the creature for its eye. Creating a prosthetic limb would require shaping a human (EXTREMELY taboo), or shaping a humanoid creation, killing it, and trying to transplant the creation's limb to a human body, which is probably even worse than the self-shaping of like the Geneforge, because it'd result in a huge undeniable desecration of the human form.

 

As for aging and so on: there don't seem to be any unnaturally old Shapers in the game world. Having superior medicine incorporating low-level shaping, as they do, I'd imagine they'd probably tend to live a good bit longer than non-Shapers do in their (pre-modern medicine) world, but I doubt they would be able to artificially extend their lifespans using Shaping in a way that would not be tabooed. They might be able to perform simple cataract surgery, which would be licit, but I doubt also that they'd be able, even if they wanted, to shape away problems like dementia or Parkinson's, etc. The brain is so delicate and complex that we in the real world have no solutions to these problems, and the Shapers' understanding of biology seems to be mostly intuitive and nontechnical, as seen in how knowledge of DNA is restricted to a very few, mostly rogue, experimenters in the world of the games. Some creations are deliberately made to have higher or lower intelligence, but this seems to be more the result of many, many iterative generations of creations with small near-blind tweaks made to each generation, and probably also selective breeding programs, like weird fantasy dog breeding. (That said- shaping COULD cure dementia, but only very slowly, and by probably killing many hundreds of test subjects, because the Shapers do not have the theoretical framework or practical abilities to be more precise or less intrusive.)

Edited by googoogjoob

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I would respectfully disagree. The Shapers are using magic combined with a good understanding in biology. Modern medicine is nowhere close to creating Serviles or battle betas but the Shapers can do it within moments and the creation is usually loyal on the moment of creation, bound by the Shaper's will (except Drayks and other barred creations). That's not something that modern medicine can replicate.

As such I would say the Shapers are far more advanced in "medicine" even if they have worse understanding of the human body and its complexity. You say that modern medicine cannot deal with dementia or Parkinson's and it is true. But modern medicine also cannot bring back someone from death's door from sword wounds to full health, without permanent problems, within moments.

Shapers are also said to have created diseases, even magical diseases by accident or for bio-attacks using their magic, without understanding how bacteria and viruses etc work. And they can cure normal stuff with a wave of the hand (cure affliction and the like). For some weird magical diseases like the one in GF3 that may be resistant to their cure affliction spells, they create magic potions (or it was just a healing remedy that works?).

 

However, you have a point on "when they need a Glaahk eye, they shape the Glaahk and take out its eye". So I would agree they would not be able to create a human arm... easily.

And yet... Shaftoe had Shaped 4 brains of himself to assist him, and had them outside his body. Even if he used just a tiny part of himself to create those minds, they were connected to him symbiotically. As such, Shapers do have the knowledge to create "adaptable parts" at least.
What I mean is that a Shaper probably could shape a Glaahk and then attach the Glaahk's eye on himself. Or similar to Shaftoe, create a bunch of eyes symbiotically connected to him even from a distance passing him information like biological security cameras. Shaftoe, a Guardian, managed to do it within a short time after all.

As such, I think that shapers could create eyes and limbs if they wanted. But what Shaftoe did was illegal and tolerated because Alwan loves controversial stuff and Shaftoe more or less expected to face trouble for turning himself to a monster.
(I think in GF3 they shaped a Glaahk because it takes a few seconds \ minutes to Shape a Glaahk if you know how while learning to Shape a Glaahk's eye by itself with the correct properties would take research and time)


So the question about limbs would become: Since some Shapers at least can Shape limbs (not necessarily humanoid), would attaching such limbs be illegal? I am 100% sure that changing your legs with powerful Battle Beta's legs would be illegal. But Shaping a human\Servile arm for a Guardian that missed it? Controversial certainly, perhaps illegal.
 

 

Edited by alhoon

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5 hours ago, googoogjoob said:

I doubt also that they'd be able, even if they wanted, to shape away problems like dementia

Yeah, I mean, we've never seen something like that in a *cough* Geneforge 5 *cough* game...

 

1 hour ago, alhoon said:

For some weird magical diseases like the one in GF3 that may be resistant to their cure affliction spells, they create magic potions (or it was just a healing remedy that works?).

Actually, it was a salve created from wiry moss and/or saltweed using (possibly non-magical) alchemy that works by killing the fungus growing under the skin.

 

 

 

Shapers are able to fix severe medical problems by using Shaping, for example sealing the hole in your character's heart caused by the control tool. However, you may recall, doing so results (in the game) in permanently losing a point of endurance. So while it could be possible to, say, create a thahd or servile arm that the body would not reject (while you can perform Shaping on a human, it doesn't seem from the game that it is possible to shape a new (non-servile) human), the process of attaching it to the body could cause severe strain and additional long-term health problems.

Edited by TheKian

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I would say that closing a hole in the heart in an instant, made by a tool specifically engineered to kill you if it is retrieved is not the same problem as attaching an arm.

 

Still, what you mentioned, the Shapers healing heart-holes without much ethical problems adds to the Alwan's life support machine to make me think that they would allow partial-shaping to help a maimed person. I think that Battle Beta legs would be very controversial, but perhaps a human\servile leg would be acceptable.

 

PS. A non-shaper made the salve. We can't know if a good Shaper could cure the disease. In GF2, the Awakened are fighting off a disease I think with spores and magic.

Edited by alhoon

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It is mentioned that shaping prior to the discovery of the gene and the creation of the Geneforge is an imprecise art where the Shapers bombard living organisms with magical energy under controlled circumstances in order to induce mutations, which may or may not be beneficial. This means that without advanced tools like the Geneforge and a detailed understanding of genetics, Shapers are likely unable to effect specific changes in themselves without the risk of, say, growing extra limbs or developing malignant tumours.

Radiation-induced mutation is an actual method of genetic manipulation, and one example is exposing a large number of plant seeds (like wheat or rice) to radiation in order to induce mutations in the plant that may be desirable for a particular set of conditions, like rice capable of growing in water with high salt levels. Naturally, the chances of any one seed developing a beneficial mutation is infinitesimal, but if you radiate millions of them, you might just get one with the right traits. This is likely why Shapers use healing spores and pods, since it would be easier and less risky to irradiate fungi and other microorganisms to create useful medicines to combat a variety of diseases or illnesses, including, say, cataracts or degenerative brain conditions, than irradiating countless persons in the hope of finding the right wavelength and exposure to induce mutations that counteract any given disease.

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Early Shaping was by trial and error which means they kept track of what worked and how to repeat it to get the same results. So when they found something that was beneficial to them like healing, then they would use it to help themselves.

 

Geneforge 1 had mentions that this was their method to kill their enemies and they made mistakes that sometimes helped their enemies. Also their habit of covering up errors by sealing labs. :) 

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You both keep saying "Early Shaping" but that's what the Shapers are still doing by the time of GF5. :)  They just have more formulas for what works. If by design or accident they make something useful, they evaluate it and then send it to the Foundry for further evaluation.
I think I've read in more than one games that their method of research is still "bombard it with magic to see if it changes beneficially and keep track of the changes" or "make small alterations and see what happens".

 

Take the Kyshaaks for example. The load-screen texts tell us they are unstable and prone to blow up. I guess those blow-up Roamers and Kyshaaks are half-done. For Kyshaaks especially I think the Shapers would improve them in future generations. Kyshaaks are like generation 2 while Clawbacks and Alphas are several iterations further down the road.

 

Even in the detail-light geneforge games half the labs or castles I go to, mention that the Shapers use those blast doors and open areas around cores etc to isolate problems when those experiments go bad. In GF3 there is a merchant in a city that tells you "Very few researchers die in their sleep" alluding that most die by accidents.

Edited by alhoon

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You'd think Alwan could be healed to a point where he could actually move and function like a normal human after the events of G4. In G5 you can get a huge hole in your heart when you get the control rod taken out of you and have said hole sealed instantly but Alwan can't get the proper care he needs? His wounds were mortal, yeah, but you'd think there's something that could've been done besides being contained to a machine for the rest of his life,

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15 minutes ago, Vinlie said:

You'd think Alwan could be healed to a point where he could actually move and function like a normal human after the events of G4. In G5 you can get a huge hole in your heart when you get the control rod taken out of you and have said hole sealed instantly but Alwan can't get the proper care he needs? His wounds were mortal, yeah, but you'd think there's something that could've been done besides being contained to a machine for the rest of his life,

The members of the Shaper council seem to like having control over other members, especially councilors who would be extremely popular with the people after, say, holding back the rebel advance. I'm just saying that they kinda do have the off button (presumably), if you will, to his life support.

 

Breaking news! General Alwan dies after teenage Shaper unplugs his life support to charge his wand!

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Actually, a hole to the heart would be easier to heal I would think with direct application of magic. It's like closing the wound fast and efficiently. Alwan was half-dead for some time and paralyzed. He had to have a Fyora pull him and he was sustaining himself with healing IIRC.

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Another thing that supports that Shapers can and do Shape parts of creatures: Living tools, Batons, machinery and Golems all have living stuff and mechanical stuff. In GF3 the lore says that the living components of a Golem are Shaped first, left in a vat for months to grow under careful watch and them bound to the inorganic material. In various other parts it mentions how Batons are a creature that is merged later with iron and stone to make a baton.

 

All in all, I think that based on the above we can surmise that Shapers through trial and error and lots of work could make directly Glaahk eyes and the like but since creating a Glaahk is easier and faster they opt to go for that route usually. I would also dare to assume that since Drakons are such a pain to be Shaped, Shapers probably Shape Drakon scales (or things with similar properties for wands and rings) directly without creating a Drakon first but that's just what I think would make sense.

Edited by alhoon

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28 minutes ago, alhoon said:

Another thing that supports that Shapers can and do Shape parts of creatures: Living tools, Batons, machinery and Golems all have living stuff and mechanical stuff. In GF3 the lore says that the living components of a Golem are Shaped first, left in a vat for months to grow under careful watch and them bound to the inorganic material. In various other parts it mentions how Batons are a creature that is merged later with iron and stone to make a baton.

 

All in all, I think that based on the above we can surmise that Shapers through trial and error and lots of work could make directly Glaahk eyes and the like but since creating a Glaahk is easier and faster they opt to go for that route usually. I would also dare to assume that since Drakons are such a pain to be Shaped, Shapers probably Shape Drakon scales (or things with similar properties for wands and rings) directly without creating a Drakon first but that's just what I think would make sense.

In the lore of the game, Shapers sometimes have problems with crafting powerful items because they need the scales (or skin, or whatever) of barred creations in order to make those items. Some of the recipe books even mention them looking for alternatives because it is so difficult to obtain the items. This implies that they cannot, in fact, create those individual pieces of creations.

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Well, Shaping a Drakon is by far forbidden. Perhaps a few Shapers can do it but what you say seem to be the vastly more common occurrence then. Meaning that the great majority of (or perhaps all) Shapers cannot shape Drakon parts and the "creating parts" thing is only possible for specific creations like golems and batons after decades of research.

 

But are you sure? I don't recall that but it's not that I have memorized the recipe books...

 

 

Can we put a drakon arm on a human please

Well, someone tried to put a better brain in an ornk and in 2 full playthroughs of GF5 I have not managed to find that ornk after it left!

Edited by alhoon

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1 hour ago, TheKian said:

In the lore of the game, Shapers sometimes have problems with crafting powerful items because they need the scales (or skin, or whatever) of barred creations in order to make those items. Some of the recipe books even mention them looking for alternatives because it is so difficult to obtain the items. This implies that they cannot, in fact, create those individual pieces of creations.

That reminds me then, where does the ingredients for the Artifacts come from lol. The ur-drakon scale you obtain from killing a powerful ur-drakon, but what about those more obscure ingredients, like blood poison or solidified flame?

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2 hours ago, alhoon said:

Well, someone tried to put a better brain in an ornk and in 2 full playthroughs of GF5 I have not managed to find that ornk after it left!

It starts in the northwestern area of the Okavano Swamp, to the south of all those obnoxious acid worm spawners. After it runs away, if you don't kill it before it escapes, it ends up in the southwestern corner of the Okavano Barrier (the area which connects to the Trakovite Haven) and you can use leadership to convince it to return to the Shapers instead of fighting a bunch of cows again.

 

1 hour ago, Vinlie said:

That reminds me then, where does the ingredients for the Artifacts come from lol. The ur-drakon scale you obtain from killing a powerful ur-drakon, but what about those more obscure ingredients, like blood poison or solidified flame?

Things like solidified flame/ice, purified essence, essence-infused iron etc. are produced by (apparently quite difficult) magical processes, from what I've gleaned of the lore.

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1 hour ago, alhoon said:

Blood poison in GF3 I got from killing a weirdo Artilla.

That weirdo artila is such a scumbag if you fight him early because his venom does like 50 a turn lol

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It has been so long ago I fought that, but it would explain why I didn't have any creations left when I finished that island... :P

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Geneforge 3's mini bosses are so much more intimidating than G4's imo. 

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1 hour ago, Vinlie said:

Geneforge 3's mini bosses are so much more intimidating than G4's imo. 

Hmm? That's not what I felt IMO.
For starters GF4 was my first Geneforge so everything was scary. When I saw that Cloaked Shaper guy in front of the gate of the blasted lands in GF4, reading in the text that he was a Shaper, I nearly panicked. It was the first Shaper I ever met. I have not seen their cloaked hooded and mysterious faces before. I remind you that in the character creation we didn't have the option to see the Shaper classes. I didn't know how they looked.
I immediately loaded my game, and before approaching I used all my items and spells to fight that mysterious cloaked figure with the strange powers I have heard so much about but never seen.
 

Moseh and Elizah were some of my hardest fights in Geneforge games.  Monarch was also very intimidating and hard to defeat. Moseh and Monarch were also very intimidating after all the hype. I was very scared to approach the guy that had held back both Rebels and Shapers alone; a one-man's faction. Then we have the Unbound prototypes that were advertised as "they can easily take down a Shaper army" which judging my the fight I had with them, was true. And then, in those tunnels in Northforge, we have the elite of the elite of the Shaper armies moving in to take everything Northforge had to throw on them.
PS. In my playthrough, Greta was the one to land the final blow on Alwan. So... poetic.

 

On the contrary, the first GF3 miniboss, the mad creator Litalia left for the lulz and giggles in GF3 just to be evil and make it hard for me to join the Rebels, was introduced after Litalia's Shadow showed up to tell me to clean up her mess. It was just not the same as the still-etched-in-my-heart fear of that cloaked figure with the unknown powers that had come to stop, singlehandedly, a rebel army.
For the rest of the minibosses that I have faced (I haven't faced them all), from what I remember they were not as intimidating even if they are stronger.

 

 

NOTE: That feeling of O_O "WOW!" is why I think people should start the games at GF3. If the first Drakon I ever saw was that guy locked inside the cell, it would have a much greater impact. 
If one goes through the games in the released order, the first drakons are in GF2. For me, in GF2, the first Drakons I saw were random unnamed ones that were guards of the Barzites. I turn a corner and I see a drakon sitting there blocking a good part of the path. Sure, it was a powerful spectacle but seeing one more or less in the same "category" as the creations patrolling streets takes from the experience IMO.
It would make for a better story IMO if the first Drakon a player sees was a named, memorable one with hype and all.

Edited by alhoon

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5 hours ago, alhoon said:

For starters GF4 was my first Geneforge so everything was scary. When I saw that Cloaked Shaper guy in front of the gate of the blasted lands in GF4, reading in the text that he was a Shaper, I nearly panicked. It was the first Shaper I ever met. I have not seen their cloaked hooded and mysterious faces before. I remind you that in the character creation we didn't have the option to see the Shaper classes. I didn't know how they looked.
I immediately loaded my game, and before approaching I used all my items and spells to fight that mysterious cloaked figure with the strange powers I have heard so much about but never seen.

G4 was also my first Geneforge so that's awesome, and I assume you're referring to my man Shaper Lethos at the Cairn Gates. He's cool and all, being an unknown character you just met wielding an aura of mystery. He ain't much though, the serville caravan will more or less wipe the floor with his shaper ass. Now if you want to talk I N T I M I D A T I O N, let's talk about General Crowley, the Guardian you meet when you've exiting the Shaper Camp in the Forsaken Lands. After infiltrating this heavily armed shaper dominated area, you slip away only to be stopped by a Guardian. You can actually spot him before his dialogue begins and when I was around 8 or 9 years old, I would hover over his character to check his health. His health was something of a whopping 1321 HP or somewhere around those lines. I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't skip a few beats. Now you, a puny rebel lifecrafter-in-training would have no chance, and even as a kid I knew that. This whole event was just so frightening to me as a child lmao. Returning to G3, the Warped Creator at the north of the first island is also incredibly intimidating you're first time through. The in-game sprite for this monstrosity was so proud .. and so menacing and the same time. It could attack with high power and inflict debuffs all whilst creating creatures at the same time. I think the Warped Creator is a lot more challenging than Lethos anyways. Anyways, I love the way you to talk about G4 though, you speak of it in such a genuine and endearing way it puts a smile on my face. We woulda been great friends.

 

5 hours ago, alhoon said:

 

Moseh and Elizah were some of my hardest fights in Geneforge games.  Monarch was also very intimidating and hard to defeat. Moseh and Monarch were also very intimidating after all the hype. I was very scared to approach the guy that had held back both Rebels and Shapers alone; a one-man's faction. Then we have the Unbound prototypes that were advertised as "they can easily take down a Shaper army" which judging my the fight I had with them, was true. And then, in those tunnels in Northforge, we have the elite of the elite of the Shaper armies moving in to take everything Northforge had to throw on them.
PS. In my playthrough, Greta was the one to land the final blow on Alwan. So... poetic.

 

"Moseh and Elizah" don't forget about Shaftoe. That guy is so obnoxious with his infinitely spawning creatures. Anyways, the Barrier Zone Guardians are in Chapter of 3 of G4 so I'll take some enemies from the third island (Dhonal's Isle) for my explanations. The first mini boss would be Spharon, in Spharon's Lands. I'll admit Spharon himself isn't really ALL that intimidating, but his army of magically altered seville behemoths really made you wonder what kind of mad man Spharon is, if he could control this many magically attuned maniacs. Fighting Spharon himself really isn't terrible, at least until he becomes immortal until you destroy his Horcrux in a nearby pot or whatever it is. The idea of Spharon is the vision of a man so incredibly powerful he is pretty much on a whole new level of dangerous.

 

Another enemy, a favorite of mine, is the Golem Monstrosity deep within the Darkstone Core. Before you enter the area where the Golem resides, dialogue options stated that this place was sealed because a terrible experiment went wrong, thus everyone and everything inside the labratory was trapped inside .. forever. Now reading those text boxes really made me feel some type of way. Was a excitement? Wonder? Fear? Perhaps a mixture of all three. The idea of an all powerful enemy trapped inside a place that the Shapers deemed too dangerous for it's own good was such a cool idea to me. Before entering the actual Shaping lab, you'll find many bodies with a text box reading, "It looks like a desperate battle took place here many years ago." I'd like to think that there were some people who tried to stop the creation of the Golem before it took place. Entering the lab, a text box in the middle of the screen will read, "There are two dead shapers here. They were trapped when the disaster happened." Hoo. If that doesn't make you consider turning around, you're quite brave. Of course, the actual battle with the Golem is very difficult, with the Golem able to stack acid attacks when it can attack up to 3 times. But yeah, incredibly good writing here.

 

5 hours ago, alhoon said:

 

 

NOTE: That feeling of O_O "WOW!" is why I think people should start the games at GF3. If the first Drakon I ever saw was that guy locked inside the cell, it would have a much greater impact. 
If one goes through the games in the released order, the first drakons are in GF2. For me, in GF2, the first Drakons I saw were random unnamed ones that were guards of the Barzites. I turn a corner and I see a drakon sitting there blocking a good part of the path. Sure, it was a powerful spectacle but seeing one more or less in the same "category" as the creations patrolling streets takes from the experience IMO.
It would make for a better story IMO if the first Drakon a player sees was a named, memorable one with hype and all.

Oh yeah, if the player meet Ghaldring at the start of the game, it would signify how far the limits of Shaping could go, and the player would understand that.

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Yeah, that Shaper guy in front of the gates was ... a disappointment. But he was intimidating. And foolish, cause yes he could not stop a Rebel army singlehandedly.

General Crowley now... that guy could do it. That was the first time I saw a wingbolt! I didn't know how to check for HP but him being a Shaper General and warrior while I was a nothing, I knew I had no chance. Then I got in combat with him for some reason; either dialogue choices or for the fun of it.
Well, it was no fun. Summoned a Wingbolt and got me down before I even knew what was happening. Had to reload the game and go through the "battle" again just to see what he summoned. It was a "blink-and-you-miss-it-and-you're-dead" kind of thing.

Good times...

 

Shaftoe was not a problem for me. Elizah and Moseh were.
Spharon now... Nah, I never expected big things from him. I thought he would be a servile to be sincere. It ended up being a non-shaping Barzite-like mage. Using runes on the Serviles to make them stronger and obedient. And what kind of idiot keeps 2 canisters locked up and doesn't use them?! One of them was dominate. He could have used that.
The servile behemoths now... Nah, they were nothing really special. Equivalent to tier 2 creations more or less; Stronger than Roamers, weaker than Vlish and Clawbugs. Frankly, Vlish showing up 4-5 at a time would have been a big problem. Serviles that need 3 hits to kill my Vlish? Not so much. They wouldn't survive enough to land 3 hits on a Vlish. I didn't even use mass energize for some battles.

What I mean about him is to say... nope, Spharon's army was nothing special or intimidating. In the end it was 30-40 servile warriors (worse than the warbred serviles of GF2) led by a mage that thanks to Litalia had put his lifeforce in a box. I loved his areas because they made me feel a powerful badass. It was after I got mass energize as a spell.

This spell really changed my party's power by at least 50% perhaps more.

 

I haven't been in Darkstone Core yet.

 

Edited by alhoon

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Darkstone is hella challenging my man you get a ton of goodies and an enchanted forge that has like 6 containers I use for storage. You also get a really neat sword if you're a warrior.

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I am not a Guardian, Shaper all the way, and I don't really need the enchanted forge. ;-)

But I will give it a try at some point.

Edited by alhoon

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